Technical writers or non fiction writers scribble to pay the bills and for the love of the analytical or the exercise of truth or deception.

Fiction authors write to illuminate their world or escape it.

Whichever kind of writer, it's all about staying alive and helping or entertaining others.

The Writing Life

Like most writers, I have a love of reading and the power of words. When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on, but I don’t consider myself well read. I consumed books like a starved person, so quickly I hardly knew what I had read. By some strange process of osmosis, I learned from everything I read, but I cannot give you an erudite discussion of characters, plots, or authors. I can only tell you it’s lodged some where in the core of my being and informs my writing.

In addition to reading, I’ve spent a life time writing---from that first elementary school composition to my college days when I studied French literature and wrote explications de texte. Along the way, I fell into technical writing--to put food on the table and pay bills. In the 90s, I had the good fortune to take a dialog class with Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day publishers in New York and a prolific author. That led to his California-based writers’ group, Chapter One. It was a rigorous, ego-bruising experience, but I was intent on learning everything I could about fiction writing. A few years ago, I also had the good fortune to study with another writer, Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. She provided a different perspective and balance to my writing.

My novel, DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, a mainstream, Sixties era novel, is available on Amazon in print and ebook (also available in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil). Download a free sample. If you like it, I hope you'll download the book and post a review on Amazon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Short Story: Running Away (Part 4)

For this week's installment of Running Away, I find myself on the cancer caravan for radiology. Five days a week I board the bus for an hour long trek to my HMO radiology center with a dozen other patients. When we arrive we all await our turn to be nuked and then we reboard and head home. It kills my afternoon, figuratively speaking. So I try to make the best use of time as possible when riding in a noisy shuttle bus that rattles and bumps down the freeway. Let's see what happens this week with Jack and Lora.


I can be thankful that Jack never reads anything but business and financial articles. If he were a reader of the fine print that is required for legal transactions, he would discover I have changed my name. My new last name is Martinez. Mind you, I don't speak a word of Spanish, but it's a common name that should complicate his finding me.

The minivan I rented is our new home until I drop it off. It's a one-way rental. I am driving down the freeway now and my hands are gripping the steering wheel so tightly that they have lost all sensation. I have lost all sensation except terror. But terror clears my mind. I must protect my children.

I look in the rear view mirror and I see that Jordan is playing a game on his iPad. Mila, clutching her doll, is sound asleep in her car seat. We are on our way west. I have no idea how long it will take us to get to California from Boston, but I have promised them I will take them to Disneyland. I hope I can figure this all out by the time I reach our destination.

I wish I could talk to my family, but I instructed my friend Shannon to call them from a pay phone and tell them I will be in contact with them when I can. Expect Jack to call and harass them. Expect the police. Tell everyone that you know nothing except that I was very unhappy and afraid. I will take good care of Jordan and Mila.

To be continued


  1. You've probably thought of this, but how about earphones and an iPod for the Cancer Caravan ride? Works also if you have unwanted chatter directed your way. We just read "All the light we cannot see" for my book club. He divides the book into 147 short chapters. I like the way you've done the same thing with these short chapters every week. I listen to New Yorker Fiction podcasts on my iPod when I walk around the grove. Great stuff.

    1. Great suggestion. I'll have to check out the book too. Right now I'm reading Turn Right at Machu Pichu so I can vicariously enjoy Zouka's trip to Peru.